National Band Association Election

Congratulations to Mr. De Stefano for being elected to the Board of Directors of the National Band Association (NBA), as a Elementary/Middle School Representative, for the 2018-2020 biennium!

Posted: July 15, 2018 | PermaLink

Concert and Live Webcast!

The McCracken Middle School Symphonic Band and Tamagawa Academy Wind Orchestra present a joint “Friendship Concert” on Tuesday, December 13 at 7:00 PM (CST) at Niles West High School.

Please join us in person or online!

6:00p Webcast Begins (
6:20p Pre-Concert Discussion (webcast only) with Peter Boonshaft, Tom Merrill, Marcellus Brown, and Chip De Stefano
7:00p Concert (McCracken Middle School Symphonic Band, Tamagawa Academy Wind Orchestra, Combined Ensemble Finale!)

Posted: December 8, 2016 | PermaLink

Skokie Award for Artistic Excellence

Congratulations to Mr. De Stefano for being selected as the 2016 Skokie Award for Artistic Excellence Individual Recipient by the Skokie Fine Arts Commission!  Mr. De Stefano will be recognized at the June Village Board meeting (with reception following).

Posted: April 27, 2016 | PermaLink

2016 IGSMA District Contest

Congratulations to the McCracken Middle School Symphonic Band and McCracken Choirs for their fabulous performances today at the Illinois Grade School Music Association District 7 Organization Contest.  All the groups performed wonderfully with each earning a Division I (superior) rating.  The Symphonic Band received a score of 7 (perfect score) from all three judges for the second consecutive year!

Posted: March 12, 2016 | PermaLink

CBDNA/NBA North Central Performance Webcast

Thursday, February 25 at 7:00p the McCracken Middle School Symphonic Band’s performance at the CBDNA/NBA North Central Division Conference will be webcast at:

All of conference performances will be webcast at that address and the schedule is is filled with an incredible slate of ensembles:

Thursday, February 25

4:00p Indiana State University Wind Orchestra
7:00p McCracken Middle School Symphonic Band
8:30p University of Nebraska-Lincoln Wind Ensemble

Friday, February 26

10:15a University of Evansville Wind Ensemble
1:00p University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Wind Symphony
3:45p Luther College College Band
7:00p Lockport Township High School Wind Symphony
8:30p Iowa State University Wind Ensemble

Saturday, February 27

10:15a University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Wind Ensemble
1:00p Gustavus Adolphus College Wind Orchestra
3:45p CBDNA-North Central Intercollegiate Band
7:00p Grand Symphonic Winds

Posted: February 23, 2016 | PermaLink

Mike Balter Inducted into Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame

Congratulations to McCracken (Oakview) Middle School Band Alum, Class of 1966, Mike Balter for his recent induction into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame!

Posted: November 16, 2015 | PermaLink

National Band Association Programs of Excellence

A big congratulations to the McCracken Middle School Bands who just learned that they are Division Winners and National Finalists for the National Band Association Programs of Excellence Award!

Congratulations! to our Programs of Excellence Blue Ribbon Award High School and Middle School Division Award Winners:

Southern Division:
Cuthbertson HS, Waxhaw, NC
Mr. Todd Ebert and Ms. Katie Ebert, Directors

McLean HS, McLean, VA
Mr. Chris Weise and Ms. Deidra Denson, Directors

Tarpon Springs HS, Tarpon Springs, FL
Mr. Kevin Ford and Mr. Christopher De Leon, Directors

Kilmer MS, Vienna, VA
Mr. Brett Dodson, Director

North Central Division:
McCracken MS, Skokie, IL
Mr. Chip DeStefano and David Morrison, Directors

Southwestern Division:
George MS, Springdale, AR
Mr. Michael Echols and Mr. Christopher Moore, Directors

These ensembles will be given automatic consideration for the National Award.


Posted: November 1, 2015 | PermaLink

Symphonic Band at Middleton

Congratulations to the McCracken Middle Symphonic Band for a terrific Beginner Band recruitment concert at Middleton Elementary School this morning. Special thanks to the section leaders who prepared and performed solos to demonstrate the instruments to the elementary students!

Posted: September 21, 2015 | PermaLink

Andrew Hitz interview with Jim Stephenson

Andrew Hitz, former tubist of the Boston Brass and a classmate of mine at Northwestern University, just posted a great interview with area composer Jim Stephenson.  Mr. Stephenson will be in residence at McCracken Middle School later this year writing a piece for the McCracken Middle School Symphonic Band to premier this Spring.  Both the residency and the commission are funded by the American Composers Forum as part of their Bandquest series!

Be sure to check it out:


Posted: August 30, 2015 | PermaLink

2015 SuperState Honor Band

A huge congratulations to the McCracken Middle School Symphonic Band for their terrific performance and selection as Honor Band at the 2015 SuperState Concert Band Festival at the University of Illinois.

Being invited to SuperState is a big accomplishment and honor.  This 6th selection as Honor Band (2000, 2003, 2006, 2011, 2013, 2015) is a remarkable achievement and something the kids should be really proud of!  CONGRATULATIONS!

2015 SuperState Honor Bands
MS – McCracken Middle School
A – Monticello High School
AA – Tinley Park High School
AAA – United Township High School
AAAA – Naperville North High School

Posted: May 8, 2015 | PermaLink

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